SEO For Financial Services

Being a professional in the Financial Services and Banking Sector, you already understand how competitive the industry is and thus; how tough is to acquire new qualified leads and generate revenues.

To stand out from the crowd, you must be able to portray the authority your financial service company has, its expertise, and trustworthiness on top of providing exciting and amazing products online for your target clientele.

This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes in handy. With SEO, you can optimize your financial services website, target clientele across your entire sales funnel, and implement website promotion strategies with long-term goals in mind, without having to pay over and over in an attempt to generate leads as in PPC or any other Digital Marketing channels. Good SEO strategies sure might take longer to produce good results, but it sets up your growth cycle for a long period. The idea is to always stay on the good side of Search Engines, especially Google.

Moreover, SEO becomes an essential tool for Finance and Banking Sector companies because of how Google caters to them. Google algorithms work differently around websites in Finance and Banking sectors due to its YMYL (Your Money Your Life) guidelines.

Hence, today we are going to discuss SEO for financial services, its importance for financial businesses, and what a financial company can do to rank higher in Google SERPs.

What is SEO for Financial Services?

SEO for financial services is a method for finance companies and banks to promote their websites and financial products on Search Engines to be able to get top rankings and Organic traffic and acquire leads.

The latest data of CTR distribution for rankings shows that a financial website ranking at the first position in Google SERPs gets more than 32% clicks, which gets reduced to only 13.47% for the second position and 7.8% for the third position. Whereas a financial services website ranking at the 10th position only gets as little as 0.53% clicks.
Hence, it is clear that ranking at the higher position directly correlates to the amount of traffic you as a financial company can generate, which will then impact your conversion rates and revenues.
Factors such as high-quality content that helps target users understand the services and products of finance companies and banks better and clarifies their authority and expertise on the subject, along with secure web pages, and the loading speed of a website play a vital role in getting top rankings and attracting unique traffic to the website.
Although, in basic terminology, SEO can be broken into two important aspects of it, On-Page Optimization and Off-Page Optimization. The on-page strategy includes everything that happens on your own website, from a small fix in HTML to optimizing pages using keywords. As for the Off-page strategy, it includes everything that you do to promote your website on other platforms and websites.

Optimizing a Website for Financial Services

SEO is a step-by-step process that if followed properly without looking for an easy way out and creating spam, can really generate some exciting results. And, most importantly, you can’t expect to generate quality backlinks before producing top-notch content or generating content without doing keyword research.

A good SEO strategy is right from the time of the website development, so the website works perfectly with user experience in mind. However, such things can be implemented post the website development, whether it is a new website or an old one.

Given below is a step-by-step SEO technique that you can use to improve your website’s SEO and have it recognized by Search Engines.

  1. SEO Audit: Website Health Check Up and Search Engines Readiness

SEO Audit is the process of analyzing your website to discover any errors and potential issues that send bad signals to Search Engines which can result in restricted exposure in SERPs.

A good SEO audit helps you discover technical and On-page as well as Off-page issues within a website, such as crawlability issues, bad website structure, incorrect meta tags, URLs that are not readable by the user, responsiveness to mobile devices, page speed issues, content gaps, 404 pages, content that is not friendly to the users, etc.

By covering these points, a good SEO audit lets you connect the dots to the growth of your business.

  • Build Buyer’s Persona and Understand Users’ Intent

A buyer’s Persona is a fictional representation of your ideal which helps you figure out what your target users are searching for and how they interact with and purchase financial products and services.

Not every buyer is the same. Some try to look for your financial services and products just to get the information while some look for it with the intent to purchase it. A good buyer persona helps you differentiate between different types of target customers at different levels of your sales funnel.

To create a buyer’s persona, collect information about your ideal buyers such as their demographic, behavioral, and psychographic information, needs, and goals, using surveys and interviews, etc. One of the best ways to achieve this is to understand the buyers who are purchasing financial products and services from your direct competitors, which tend to be more accurate and authentic.

Understanding the intent of your target users is a crucial step of the process which helps you figure out what your ideal buyer is searching for when he/she goes online with the intent to look for and purchase a financial product or services similar to yours.

User intent helps you differentiate between what type of keywords you should target with priority and which ones are most important for selling your financial products and services.

  • Keyword Research and Selection

Keywords Research is the art of identifying topics that interest your potential customers and finding and analyzing search terms based on these topics that they are using to find you or your competitors. The importance of these keywords is measured on three important aspects of Keyword Research – The intent of the keywords, their search volume, and their competitiveness (commonly known as Keyword Difficulty).

Since you are a professional with probably years of experience in Financial Services, you might already have some idea of how a usual customer refers to your services and products. This allows you to put your foot in the door and initiate your brainstorming session to find common keywords a potential customer might be using from scratch. Post this, you’ll have tens of relevant keywords to start your keyword research.

To ensure that you haven’t missed anything, you can try googling these basic keywords and check out the results Google brings you. For example, try to find a financial service in your local area on Google Maps results. Moreover, you can look for relevant ideas presented to you in different sections of the Google SERPs, such as “People also ask” and “Related searches”. It helps you broaden your basic topical ideas before starting keyword research using tools.

This helps in creating content that serves the specific needs of your potential customers. Careful selection of these keywords which brings more traffic at a relatively low competition is called Keyword Selection.

The value of keywords is unmistakable since it’s the first step to interacting with your potential customers and being found. Search Engines like Google can clearly understand the intent of a user’s search query and correlate between semantics searches to identify which search result fits the best for them and rank the web pages accordingly.

  1. Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail Keywords are search terms that match the intent of the search users more clearly and are more specific.

Since Long-tail keywords are more specific versions of their seed counterparts, directing to a unique solution, they tend to have low search volumes compared to the seed keywords since a smaller number of people use them as search queries. Hence, they are less competitive too compared to the seed keywords.

Their ability to direct toward a specific solution and less competition makes them favorable to SEO Experts and Online Businesses, especially startup websites to generate quick rankings and get recognition on Search Engines.

A general myth about longtail keywords is that they are longer compared to the seed keywords or topics. However, that’s not how they are defined since many keywords that are longer in nature have high search volumes and thus; highly competitive to rank in SERPs.

  • Local Keywords

Local Keywords are the keywords that are applicable for search terms within a specific geological region and are essential for financial service companies that operate within a certain location or area or a specific financial service or product provided in that limited location or area only.

You can use various keyword research tools to identify and make a list of the most suitable keywords for your financial service company such as Keyword Planner by Google which provides you with semantic search terms and SEMRush and Ubersuggest which provide you with different variations of a keyword.

  • Competition Research and Analysis

The purpose of Competitive Research and Analysis is to identify any valuable keyword or link opportunities that can be useful for your business. SEO tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, and Ubersuggest, all provide you with a comprehensive outlook on these two aspects of your competitors’ SEO strategy.

  1. Check What Topics They Have Covered and What They’ve Missed

When doing competitive research, identifying topics your competitors have covered in their On-page and Off-page strategies gives you an enhanced look at keywords generating traffic for them.

  • Check Their Regular Source of Backlinks

Checking the competitors for their source of backlinks can help you identify link opportunities that are working for them, especially niche-relevant link opportunities. You can reach out to the same websites and easily get a link back from them since they might already have been linking out to many of your competitors and similar websites.

  • Website Navigation and Structure

The navigation and structure of your website are vital parts of your SEO strategy since Search Engines like Google gives a lot of weightage to the user experience.

It helps you create a hierarchy in your content and expose the most important pages of your website to your user with priority.

Having well-defined navigation helps users navigate easily between hundreds or thousands of your web pages especially when Search Engines can even display your important navigation right in the Search Snippets on SERPs.

Whereas Website structure lets you organize and prepare a layer of web pages covering different topics and ideas. A well-defined site structure helps you group similar content to make it easily discoverable to your users such as grouping different types of financial products under one category or sub-category where users can easily discover them with just a few clicks from the top navigation.

  • On-page Optimization

On-page Optimization is the process of optimizing your web pages’ content using the selected keywords for your business to make them more discoverable on Search Engines.

  1. Optimize Page Title Especially for Financial Products’ Pages

The page title is the most important part of your web pages’ which appears at the top of the tab in the browser and helps identify the topic of the web page. You can define the page title of a web page within the <header> section of the HTML document of it.

Apart from appearing at the top of a browser tab, the page title also appears in the Search snippet on SERPs and is a part of page ranking factors which helps a search user identify whether a search result is relevant to their query or not and what information they can expect on that page.

Writing a unique and descriptive page title of fewer than 60 characters helps you get more qualified traffic as compared to a vague page title that doesn’t give the search users clarity about the content on the page.

However, you should know that Search Engines like Google and Bing can now rewrite your web page’s page title if it finds the meta title defined by you in the page’s HTML is irrelevant to the user search query. Instead, decide to rewrite a page title by analyzing the content of your web pages, such as text defined inside headings tags (h1, h2, h3, etc.), decorated text like bold text, anchor texts, and backlinks directing to your web page.

  • Optimize Meta Description

Meta Descriptions are a summary overview of the content on the web page that you can define using the <meta> tag in the HTML doc. It clarifies the relevancy and accuracy of the web page to the search users and appears under the page title in the search snippet.

A meta description isn’t a page ranking factor; however, it influences the click-through rate (CTR) and quality of website traffic.

A unique and descriptive meta description of as short as 30 characters to as long as 160 characters, can help you generate a lot of quality traffic. Although Search Engines like Google can algorithmically generate a more relevant meta description for your web pages if they find the meta description provided by you irrelevant to the search query of the users.

  • Enhance the Reach of Images Using Alt Text

Search Engine bots cannot understand images simply because they don’t see an image as humans do. They can only understand the image in the data form, which becomes useless if the data has been provided with no context. Image alt text provides them with the context they need for your images.

However, the original purpose of image alt text is to help your website visitors with impaired visibility understand your content better without losing the context. Apart from that, it also helps provides an entry point for your potential customers by ranking your images on Image Search Engines for target search terms.

By simply providing an image alt text, you provide a context to the images which helps Search Engines understand your images better as well as provide a better user experience to your website visitors.

  • Focus on What Text You Use in Headings and Decorated Style Formatting

The heading tags, from H1 to H6 get a significant weightage in getting your website’s top rankings.

Search Engines like Google determine your website’s title tag for SERPs based on Page Titles, Text defined in Heading tags, and any decorated text defined using style elements, among overall seven different factors.

But why do Search Engines do it? Search Engines try to show search users web results that are relevant to their searched terms. Now, a single piece of content might be containing different types of information on a topic, but since different search users are looking for different parts of information, Search Engines like Google rewrites the title tags of your website for SERPs to make it relevant for the search users.

For this, they pick information for the title of the SERPs based on above mentioned sever different criteria and measure the relevancy to match with the user’s searched term. It ensures that the search user will always be sure that he or she is getting relevant search results only. Although, Search Engines may fail to do so, especially if the intent of the search query isn’t clear. Search terms that contain one or more abbreviated words are one such example.

  • Optimize Content to Reach Its Full Potential

Content is written with various purposes, be it to generate popularity and backlinks, rank on top positions or convert the readers into potential buyers.

When there are tens to hundreds of competitors constantly competing to get top rankings and acquire customers, then simply writing content might not help you reach your goal despite being of high quality. Without it, your content might simply be lost in the pool of thousands of similar content pieces.

Content Optimization is the process of improving the content on web pages to cater to the correct customers within the sales funnel, with the ideal goal of gaining their attention or generating a sale or lead.

  • Make URL Structure Short but Precise

URL Structure is the technical aspect of what should be an ideal URL for your web pages and a minor ranking factor.

The reason why URL structure is an important part of SEO is that Search Engines show URL structure or Breadcrumbs in the Search Snippets. A good URL structure is concisely descriptive, contains only ASCII characters, and is humanly readable which helps your potential customers understand that they are heading to a relevant web page and improves their user experience.

Whereas a bad URL structure would contain long numerical (ID) numbers or underscore (“_”) and be hard for search users to understand which is why Search Engines might push a web page back in organic search rankings.

Apart from it, a well-written URL helps you understand your web pages when tracking in Analytics.

  • Create an Internal Link Strategy and Link Your Web Pages

When your release a new web page on the web, it’s usually stuck behind hundreds of thousands of pages that your website might already have and may never be found quickly by Search Engine bots.

Internal links are built with the purpose to make your new content easily discoverable by Search Engine bots and get crawled to be indexed on Search Engines. It’s achieved by linking out the new web page to an already indexed and possibly high-ranking web page on the website that gets recrawled by Search Engines more often. So, now the newly released web page won’t have to wait in line behind thousands of existing pages and can get the chance to rank quickly.

Apart from that, internal links help you establish relevancy between different types of web pages on your financial service website for your website visitors when they find your content on SERPs.

Internal Links can be given directly into website navigation like header and footer menu or simply be contextually linked into the content of an existing page. The second option establishes the relevancy of the new web page much better and accurately for both, your website visitors and Search Engine bots.

Furthermore, each internal link built on a given web page contributes to the authority of that web page. Thus, identifying your internal link building strategy is a crucial step of the On-Page Optimization process. Together, each internal link creates a powerful content SILO where each web page contributes to a holistic SEO approach.

  • Technical Optimization

Search Engines these days give a lot of weightage to the overall user experience since regardless of how top-notch a web page content is if the user can’t interact with the content on the page, be it due to slow page loading speed, the improper structure of the web page making it difficult for the users to interact with it, or simply not visibly good to grasp the information.

It can happen for many small but significant reasons. Technical SEO is the process to caters to these issues and fixing them to let web pages perform at their full potential.

Here are the most important technical SEO aspects that you must check and improve on your Financial Service website.

  1. Core Web Vitals
    1. Page Speed
    1. Structured Data for Local Business
    1. Sitemap
    1. Optimizing Website Code (HTML, CSS, and JS)
    1. 404 Page and 301 Redirects
    1. Mobile Responsiveness
    1. AMP Pages
    1. Website Security
  • Local SEO and Social Media Profiles for Financial Services

As a financial service business, you have to maintain one or more physical presence. You can use this information to strengthen your presence in your local area or region. Here is how you can boost your local presence using different local SEO strategies.

  1. Strengthen Appearance on Map Listings like Google Maps and Bing Local

Many users are looking for financial services providers on digital map platforms like Google Maps and Bing Local, to quickly find a nearby provider and possibly contact them to get details about your products and how they can help them with their financial needs.

To be able to be found easily by your potential customers, you have to strengthen your digital presence in your local area and region. You can make verified profiles on Google Maps and Bing Local and update them with all the required information such as your contact information, address to your physical office, the area served, availability and timings, and a link to your website along with some images.

Moreover, since these listings also have the option to provide a review for your services, you can accumulate reviews to further enhance your credibility on the web in your local area.

  • Manage profile and reviews on Yelp, Yellow pages, Super Pages, MapQuest, and Chamber of Commerce pages

Apart from Search Engines Map Listings, there are plenty of popular third-party websites that help users find credible services nearby them.

Websites like Yelp, Yellowpages, Superpages, MapQuest, and the website of your local Chamber of Commerce are a few examples. Although, maintaining a profile on such websites might not generate a lot of business for you; however, it adds a lot of value to your digital presence in terms of credibility and creates a new touchpoint for your potential customer.

  • Create Profiles on Social Media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn

Apart from local map listings and third-party websites for managing local presence, maintaining your presence on Social Media websites like Facebook and LinkedIn can be a great asset for you since many users try to check the social media profile of financial service providers to verify their credibility.

Moreover, it creates another touchpoint for your potential customers to reach you as well as existing customers to get quick feedback or solution from you.

  • Content Development

Content Development is the part of the SEO process where you create content to tell your website visitors about your services and products, promote it and educate your website visitors about your services and products.

  1. Setup Blog to share Financial Advice and Offers

Setting up and managing a blog is a great way to develop content related to your financial services and products and help your website visitors understand it better. You can simply cover topics like calculating interest rates and how to take a loan or how to invest in stocks and funds and much more to indulge your website visitors with your services and products.

This way you can provide them with valuable financial advice which they might not find anywhere else. Moreover, it also provides you with a chance to promote any offers to your website visitors.

  • Services and Product Pages

To be able to tell your website visitors about your financial services and products, you will have to create dedicated pages for each service and product, to help them understand what it is and how it can help their financial needs.

If you are providing services in multiple metro areas, then you can create dedicated landing pages for those locations which makes it easier for your website visitors to find you when they look for similar services in their local areas.

  1. Off-page Optimization and Content Marketing
  1. Link Placement
    1. Guest Posting
    1. Share infographics
    1. Reach Out to Bloggers and Relevant Businesses
  1. Add Credibility with Reviews and Testimonials

Adding credibility to your website can help acquire new customers especially if your Financial Services website is new. You can add features like writing a review and adding testimonials for new website visitors to check and see how your services and products have helped your existing customers.

  1. Reviews

You may have some existing customers who have already taken your services or bought your financial products. You can provide a review writing feature on your financial service and product pages and ask existing customers to leave a review on the website.

It shows new website visitors that your financial services and products have been taken by people already and how it has helped them.

  • Testimonials

Testimonials are another way to boost your credibility in front of new customers. Testimonials are very detailed declarations from your existing customers, stating how your services and products have been a great help you them.

  1. Focus on Improving Your E-A-T/YYMYL
  1. Measuring SEO to Calculate ROI

Measuring the value of your SEO means taking into account the different metrics collected by Search tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console for Google SERPs and Bing Webmaster tools for Bing SERPs.

Each of these metrics gives you clarity on how search users are interacting with your website and its content. By measuring these metrics, you can easily calculate your Return on Investment (ROI) in your SEO strategies, and how likely are you to sell your financial services and products.

  1. Search Rankings

Search Rankings are the first indications of your website performance. When a search is performed, Search Engines return a list of many web pages from different websites. In that list, the Search Ranking tells you exactly at which position the search users will find the link to your web page.

The higher your Search Rankings are, the higher chance you will have to attract visitors to your website since search users usually won’t look after the 2nd page of SERPs. With each boost in the Search Ranking of a web page, you will attract a relatively increased number of visitors to that web page.

  • Impressions

Impressions are an important metric to measure whether your SEO strategies are doing well or not. An impression simply means that a search user has possibly found your web page either on SERPs, pages of other websites, or within your own web pages.

As long as the search user can see your link on the page, it adds to your impression metrics, regardless of whether they have interacted with the anchor link or not.

However, if your link is placed inside part of the content that is additionally loaded on the page with clicks, such as “Read more” clickable links to load content using JavaScript, the impressions are only counted if the user has chosen to load such content part by clicking on the clickable elements to load the content on the page.

If a web page is getting more impressions, it simply means that the web page is performing well and will possibly have an increased Click-through Rate.

  • CTR

Click-through Rate, or as most commonly referred to by its abbreviated form, CTR, is a performance metric that tells you how many clicks your website is getting from the overall impressions your website is generating through Search Engines.

Tools like Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster tools measure this metric for you by default once you have configured your website.

A higher CTR clearly indicates how likely search users will choose to visit your website. The higher the CTR, the higher chances you will have to convert the website traffic into sales.

  • Bounce Rate

SEO tools that help us track the progress like Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

Cost of SEO for Financial Services


How SEO Helps Financial Services Companies?

By comparing the stats for CTR distributions for rankings, we can be clear that SEO surely helps with the growth of your financial services company, especially when you rank higher in Organic Search.

This growth translates to benefits in different aspect of your financial services company, which are mentioned as follow:

  1. Helps You Capture Traffic at The Different Stages of Your Sales Funnel

A good SEO strategy helps you create a tailored Sales Funnel according to the needs of your business, starting from exposure to making a purchase, generating traffic relevant to each stage of the funnel, and improving traffic flow.

A typical website generates an overall 68% of traffic from Search Engines, out of which, 53% of traffic is accumulated from Organic SEO. It means that SEO helps you acquire leads that are more targeted toward conversion.

  • Helps Educate the Target Customer

A good SEO not only helps you convert your customers that are actively looking for your financial products and services but also helps you educate your potential customer at the beginning of your Sales Funnel with the intent to convert them in the long run.

  • Helps Generate Leads that Converts Easily

With the help of Long-tail keywords that matches the intent of the users’ search query, SEO helps you promote your web pages that can attract traffic that can be converted quite easily than outbound leads.

According to a report by HubSpot, SEO leads convert at 14.6% as compared to outbound leads which convert at only 1.7%. It is clear from these stats that SEO helps you generate leads that are more qualified than other Online Marketing strategies.

  • Helps Improving Website Health and Usability

By implementing the basics of SEO, i.e., Technical and On-page SEO, you not only make it more discoverable and search engine friendly, but also improve its overall health which benefits you in earning positive points from Search Algorithms and getting higher rankings.

Apart from that, website health metrics like page speed as well as mobile responsiveness, and advanced SEO techniques like AMP pages and rich snippets help you increase its usability with the target users in mind, which greatly contributes to your ROI.

  • Helps Portraying Authority and Expertise and Building Trust

Google Analyzes a website based on hundreds of factors, where website content plays an important role and promotes it accordingly in Search Rankings. Web pages that contain high-quality content tend to rank highly on Google simply because – 1) It provides the target users the Expert advice or solution for their queries, and 2) It gets a lot of attention from other experts in the niche in terms of backlinks.

This makes it clear to Google that the content is loved and appreciated by both the end-users as well as the top publishers in the niche; Hence, it must be of great value and pushes it up in the rankings. The higher it gets in rankings, the possibility of it generating more backlinks increases.

By frequently producing content that gets recognized by Search Engines and thus; gets usually ranked in top positions, you establish trust among your target audience.

  • Helps Building Relationships with Other Brands and Website Owners

When promoting your website on Search Engines, you get in contact with other individual financial experts and organizations whose nature of work is similar to yours but are not in your competition, whether the reason is asking them for a backlink or asking for their expert opinions to comment on your content.